Helos interest me

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Fyterpilot22, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Fyterpilot22

    Fyterpilot22 USAFA '13

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    Track is coming up soon and I'm trying to figure out where I want to go.

    I was curious about going to Ft. Rucker but I don't know anything about helos. All I know is you can get CV-22s, UH-1s, and HH-60s. Are lifestyles different between the three? What are deployments like? Does anyone keep up with the helo drops or anywhere I can look? How many flying hours will I likely get? Career opportunities after the military?

    Any information would be great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Career opportunities exist after the military, but it all depends on your risk tolerance and skill level. Nothing personal, but for what most helo operators do, the biggest hires are Army warrant officers. But the opportunities exist and the pay is generally commensurate with your tolerance for risk and discomfort.

    As to the rest, I can't say. That's all AF jive. Raimius is your guy to talk to on that one.
     
  3. Fyterpilot22

    Fyterpilot22 USAFA '13

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    I just read his blog and wow what a wealth of information. Much better informed now and I still have 2 weeks to make my decision. Oh these life choices :rolleyes:
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    CV-22s are now T-1 drops, I hear. Lifestyles vary quite a bit, and deployments with them. Generally more hours than fighters but less than heavies.

    I'll get you more details next week when I have a keyboard vs cell phone.
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Ok, so a bit of this is 2nd hand info, as I don't fly all the AF's platforms! (duh)

    I fly Hueys. Generally, we are the most chill of the AF's "vertical lift" communities. Depending on where you are based, and how much is going wrong overseas, Hueys can fly the most. From what I hear, most line pilots can expect between 200 and 500hrs a year. The missile bases tend to fly quite a bit, while pilots at the DV airlift bases fly a bit less. Hours do vary quite a bit, as Andrews used to fly a LOT, but in recent years lost some hours and increased the number of aircrew. These things are likely cyclical, so you just don't know if you are going to be flying "too much" or "too little" until it happens. Hueys tend to be the most stable in terms of lifestyle. Since the UH-1N is no longer an aircraft that deploys overseas, generally deployments are adviser slots (instructors--aka 2nd assignment and above). Most flying will be from home station, with a patrol, alert, or DV schedule dominating.

    HH-60s do CSAR, so the needs of the moment are going to dictate a lot of what happens there. Some guys deploy and barely fly, other guys fly just about every day...deployments will vary. From talking with friends in -60s, it sounds like a good chunk of their flying is deployment related (spin-up and deployed missions). At home station, it sounds like they get fewer hours than Hueys. HH-60s tend to be less relaxed than Hueys, probably due to the nature and complexity of their missions. CSAR has a lot of moving pieces and the risk of getting shot at can be high. As such, they have their own section at the Weapons School, unlike the Huey.

    CV-22s support AFSOC, so a lot of the details of what they do aren't going to be made public, or at least aren't going to be shouted from the rooftop of the PA building. I haven't heard much on their avg. flight hours, but I'd guess it is correlated to their deployment schedule pretty well. AFSOC tends to be gone from home a lot. I hear they are dropping from the fixed-wing tracks now, rather than Rucker, so you might want to ask some UPT flight commanders/SQ leadership for more info on that.

    Helicopter pilots post military aren't generally as well-paid as fixed wing, but there is a decent variety of positions. Many of them can be quite competitive, and between the Army, AF, Marines, and Navy, the DoD makes a lot of helicopter pilots. AF pilots generally have to take a pretty good pay cut, if they want to keep flying (most places won't pay similarly to Maj/LtCol pay for a line pilot). From looking around, minimum hours for the better paying jobs tend to start at 1500 or 2500hr minimums. Helicopter EMS, government, and off-shore oil seem to be the better paying lines, compared to tourism, line surveys, logging, etc...but that is 3rd and 4th hand info, so take it with a tablespoon of salt.

    If you have specific questions, let me know. I've got friends in all of these aircraft.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014

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